After Millennia of Agricultural Expansion, the World has passed ‘Peak Agricultural Land’

Delivering sustainable economic growth
Posted Jun 12, 2022 | Our World in Data, Hannah Ritchie

The world produces more food than ever, but the amount of land used for its production is falling. This means more people can be fed while restoring wild habitat, suggests  Hannah Ritchie in her article for Our World in Data. She offers three analyses on the change in global land use, each using a different methodology. The FAO produces key data for each of these analyses from 1961 onwards, with researchers applying their own methodologies. Although they disagree on how much land is used for agriculture, and the time at which land use peaked, they all agree that the peak has passed, marking a historic moment in humanity’s relationship to the planet - a crucial step in its protection of the world’s ecosystems. However, a continued decline is not guaranteed.


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